Jordan Denari

A Catholic voice on interreligious dialogue and Islamophobia, Jordan Denari is a Research Fellow at the Bridge Initiative, a Georgetown University research project to educate the public about Islamophobia. After receiving her bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service, she received a Fulbright research award to study the impact of Christian satellite television on Muslim-Christian relations in Amman, Jordan from 2013 to 2014. Jordan has published articles in Time, National Catholic Reporter, Sojourners, America, Commonweal, and Huffington Post, among other...

Dr. Bob Roberts

Dr. Roberts is the Founder, Senior Leader, and Chief Spokesman for Glocal.net.  His primary focus is connecting leaders and establishing relationships to create transformation.  He is the founding Senior Pastor of NorthWood Church near Dallas/Ft. Worth, TX.   As the leading practitioner and writer on glocal transformation of individuals, religious communities, non-governmental organizations, cities and nations, Bob has worked extensively in Vietnam, Afghanistan, West Bank and Gaza, Indonesia, Syria, Belize, Egypt, Turkey, Kenya, Nigeria, Europe, Australia, Iraq, Iran and other countries.  Pastor Roberts has been called upon by the United Nations and various State Departments around the world to assist with humanitarian and reconciliation projects. He works with leaders from different religious backgrounds to promote greater understanding and to assist with engagement...
Podcast: What it Means to Stand Together

Podcast: What it Means to Stand Together

“Legitimacy can be established through credentials … or it can be established through a track record and work experience, that you have indicated through some type of continuous effort that you are someone worth listening to.” “Our bigger challenge today is … the amount of indifference that exists.  That you see injustice taking place in front of you, and you have the ability to do something about it, and you still don’t.  You can have a perspective on a person or a community that they represent, without having ever met someone from that community.” “Find the courage to go and be with those who are different rather than waiting for them to be with you.” In this episode of our free podcast series “NYC Faith Leaders,” Maggi Van Dorn interviews Imam Khalid Latif, who shares with us his experience as the first Muslim chaplain of NYU, the emerging faith leadership of young adults, and how conviction inspires and necessitates a person to work across faith lines. We’re pleased that this episode will be the first entry in the Storybank of Religions for Peace USA’s “Our Muslim Neighbor” initiative, a long-term collective impact effort geared toward combating Islamophobia with a positive, informed, and consistent message of Islam and Muslims in the U.S. We hope you will not just listen to this series, but download the podcasts to hear while driving, jogging, or washing the dishes.  And subscribe in order to be alerted when new installments are available.  It’s a great way to learn about the faiths of our New York City neighbors. What it Means to Stand Together...

Our Muslim Neighbor Voices Respond to Paris Attacks

Since the Paris attacks the U.S. has seen an increase in anti-Muslim rhetoric that isolates our Muslim neighbors and feeds into a culture of fear.  What can you do to counteract this trend? Religions for Peace USA’s Our Muslim Neighbor Initiative ​is a national effort to end Islamophobia. For the last three years we’ve been on the ground in Tennessee buidling communities of trust across racial and religious lines. In 2016, we’ll begin working with key partners up in Minnesota.  Over the years, we’ve developed strategies and resources to help people reach out and relate to their neighbors, to understand Islam and Muslims better, and to build communities of trust that break down stereotypes eating away at the goodwill that is so necessary for strong communities to thrive. That is why we’re making available to you three (3) online lectures of some of the nation’s leading voices on interfaith peacebuilding. Listen to the lectures and share widely!  Be sure to check out the monthly articles that OMN Voices puts out, too! Read them here! Gen. Maj. Douglas Stone recently relinquished the position of Deputy Commanding General, Detainee Operations, Multi-National Force-Iraq and Commander, Task Force 134, commanding all detention operations in at Camp Cropper, Camp Bucca and Camp Ashraf. Gen. Stone addresses the importance of building communities of trust, and avoiding isolation of important members of your community in order to counter radicalization. Dr. Ingrid Mattson is a professor of Islamic Studies and the London and Windsor Community Char in Islamic Studies at Huron University College, at the University of Western Ontario. She is the former president of the Islamic Society of North America. Dr....
Our Muslim Neighbor Conference in Nashville, TN 2015

Our Muslim Neighbor Conference in Nashville, TN 2015

On September 26th 2015, the Our Muslim Neighbor conference was held in Nashville Tennessee. We welcomed over 130 attendees of many races and religions who gathered for a day of workshops, lectures and community networking to build a stronger movement in the fight against islamophobia. Our keynoters were: Dr. Ingrid Mattson, Rev. Richard Cizik, and Maj. Gen Douglas Stone Check out the video to the...

Countering Islamophobia – A Jewish Testimony

Dr. Yehezkel Landau Associate Professor of Interfaith Relations and Holder of the  Abrahamic Partnerships Chair at Hartford Seminary In the summer of 2010, as the American midterm election season was heating up, one of the most controversial subjects of debate was the planned construction of an Islamic community center in lower Manhattan.  Misleadingly dubbed the “Ground Zero Mosque,” it became the focus of an ugly campaign to impugn the motives of those behind the Park 51 project, especially Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf.  Islamophobic hysteria, playing on the pain of 9/11, was generated by the project’s critics as part of a calculated strategy to scare voters into voting for right-wing candidates in the November elections.  This political aim was confirmed when the propaganda campaign was abruptly terminated following Election Day. I have known Imam Feisal and his wife Daisy Khan for fifteen years.  I consider them cherished friends and allies in the struggle to combat religious extremism.  But this effort can’t be defined by what it is fighting against.  It must be understood as a campaign to build bridges of mutual understanding and cooperation across the boundaries separating faith communities. Given my friendship with this extraordinary couple, who are among the most courageous and dedicated American Muslimleaders, I did not hesitate for a moment when Daisy called me one afternoon that summer to ask if I could testify on behalf of Park 51 at a public hearing the following day, convened by the Zoning Board for lower Manhattan.  I took a train into Manhattan and a subway downtown, then walking the few blocks to the site of the hearing.  The...

Dangers of Legitimizing Bigotry – Rev. Richard Cizik

Stories of Hope Dangers of Legitimizing Bigotry by Richard Cizik The origin of the word bigot dates as far back as 1598 and had a sense of “religious hypocrite.”  While the story is possibly fictional, Wikipedia says “the Normans were first called bigots, when their Duke Rollo, who when receiving Gisla, daughter of King Charles, in marriage, and with her the investiture of the dukedom, refused to kiss the king’s foot in token of subjection – unless the king would hold it out for that specific purpose. When being urged to do it by those present, Rollo answered hastily ‘No, by God’, whereupon the King, turning about, called him bigot, which then passed from him to his people.”  Thus began the use of the term, sometimes justifiably, other times not.  It suggests not only the rejection of someone of another race or religion but can be used to refer to intolerance towards a group of people in general based on their characteristics such as religion. This past week, a Sikh American resident from the Chicago suburbs was brutally assaulted by a random stranger.  The perpetrator told the man, “Terrorist, go back to your country, Bin Laden!” before the victim fell unconscious. This innocent individual — a member of his local community and a father of two — was identified with terrorists, and bigotry was used to justify a horrific beating. Attacks against Muslim, Arab, and South Asian Americans occur with frequency, and some of these are surely “hate crimes,” rooted in bigotry.   The path toward a different kind of society, exemplified by love, forgiveness and grace, also occurs frequently, albeit usually without the concomitant...

Muslim – Christian Dialogue is for the Birds – by Rev. Dr. Michael Trice

Remembering Massacres, Encountering Hope Muslim-Christian Dialogue is for the Birds by Michael Trice 2015 is a year for remembering massacre.  This past July marked the twentieth summer since the summary executions in the municipality and town of Srebrenica, where over 8,000 Bosnian Muslims – mostly men and boys – were murdered during the Bosnian war.  And, April of 2015 marked a hundred years since the beginning of the episodic murders of over 800,000 Armenians.  When one considers 8,000 Muslims, or 800,000 Armenians, the numbers confound any sensibility of moral trespass.  Hence we cordon off the reality with a warning moniker – Genocide.  We remember the universal religious literature on fratricide, and specifically Cain’s unbridled wrath and the response of an exasperated Almighty to the first murder:  “Your brother’s blood cries out to me from the ground.”   Like the story of Cain and Abel, ancient literature and United Nations’ reports project onto the earth our own refusal to forget the bodies buried therein A priest friend of mine recounted for me the story of a visit to a municipality shortly after the Bosnian war; the filaments of destruction remained in the air.  During his visit, he spoke with a local man who told him about an area in the town filled with the bodies of the murdered.  My friend asked how the man lived and found reasons for hope amidst the silence of death.  ‘The birds are returning now,” the man replied, testifying to the experience of wildlife retreating from areas of conflict in the world.  This man spoke to his experience of the return of daily life, registered...
Our Muslim Neighbor Initiative – Nashville United For Chattanooga Families Fundraiser

Our Muslim Neighbor Initiative – Nashville United For Chattanooga Families Fundraiser

The Muslim Community and Interfaith Partners in TN respond: Launch fundraiser for attack victims’ families  The Chattanooga families lost fathers, brothers, and sons in a deplorable act of violence on July 16th.  We wish to send a powerful message of unity and compassion through action. This is why the Faith and Culture Center | Our Muslim Neighbor initiative in coordination with the Muslim community in Chattanooga, the Community Foundation of Greater Chattanooga and our interfaith partners are leading efforts to raise $20,000 for the families of the five victims by July 31st. We cannot do it alone, we need your help.    All of the funds contributed will be verified and dispersed through the Community Foundation of Greater Chattanooga 7-16 Freedom Fund to cover college scholarships and educational expenses for spouses and children of the affected families. If you would like to mail a check, please make the check out to Faith and Culture Center, and mail to: P.O. Box 112045  Nashville, TN 37222. Please note in the memo: 7-16 Freedom Fund. Faith and Culture Center | Our Muslim Neighbor will cover all administrative and processing fees associated in this effort, so your gift will have the maximum impact. We strongly urge you to take part in this action; give and help our community...

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